Have we gotten lazy or just lost our way? by Brad Pearson

lazyagentI got my real estate license in 1992 after spending 4 years in the Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller, staring at a radar scope and making sure airplanes don’t “bump” into each other.  Every single day, it was my job to provide flawless service to my pilots in the sky.  The slightest deviation from my training or shift in my practices could lead to a devastating accident or mid air collision that would cost lives.  Here’s the punch line… I was only 18 years old when I started and 21 when I received my honorable discharge and got into real estate.  So imagine my surprise when I was told “you can come and go as you please, make a lot of money, or make no money, and here’s a set of business cards, go to work!”.  Few rules, lot’s of freedom, and if I messed up, then no one died.   I was fortunate though, I had tough parents who taught me a solid work ethic, and 4 years in the military to build some pretty solid discipline.   Additionally, I had a great broker and some guidance from some of the greatest real estate agents that ever lived!  These agents cut their teeth in real estate for years before I arrived without the benefit of fax machines, email, cell phones, text messaging, and yes…even voice mail!   They told me the stories, and shared with me some of the best practices that made them successful.  Even as fax machines took over, and email arrived, these agents fought to continue some practices that frankly should have never gone away!   In this post, I will be sharing one of those practices that we owe it to our customers to bring back.   But it won’t be easy!

Before fax machines, email, and the onslaught of home foreclosures and short sales in the early 90’s, if an agent wrote an offer for their buyer, it was expected that the agent would present their buyers offer to the seller themselves and better yet, they would actually “negotiate” on the behalf of their buyer by justifying their offer with market data/info, as well as other strategies to persuade the seller to accept their offer or counter minimally.  The listing agent would actually be prepared to defend the price and value of the home and employ their own negotiating strategies to help their seller get the highest price for their home.    Then two things happened…  First, the fax machine with the curled up “disappearing ink” paper arrived at the offices in the 80’s and were in heavy use in the early 90’s.  Remember getting a fax and running to the copier to make copies of the blurry contract?  Then the bank repo’s and short sales came and offers/contracts were almost all faxed to the banks.  Negotiations became all electronic.  Fax and wait was the process and the agents got so used to this no_faxthat they began to do the same with traditional listings.  Listing agents began to insist offers were faxed, and buyers agents stopped asking to present their buyers offers themselves.  And this became the norm now for the last 15+ years.  To compound things, many agents left the business, and were replaced with thousands of new agents, who were never taught the practice of presenting offers in person, and just picked up where everyone left off and the line at the fax machine didn’t end until it was replaced by email.  Same problem, new technology!

I’m writing this post in hopes that I can inspire listing agents at the very least to begin demanding that the buyers agents present their clients offers to their sellers.  While I’d love to have buyers agents demand to present offers, without the listing agents cooperation, it will never work.

My belief is simple.  Great negotiators earn their clients more money and better terms!  It is impossible to utilize great negotiation skills and strategies via email or fax.   Yet, we wonder why the biggest negotiations in most transactions begin with the agent negotiating with the seller for their commission %, and then the next biggest negotiation ends up happening in the middle of escrow when things go wrong because the offer was never properly negotiated from the start.

I propose that one of the biggest reasons a seller or a buyer should hire an agent is because they believe that agent will expertly negotiate on their behalf and in their best interests rather than just email or fax something so important to them over to another agent who will likely do the same in return.   Obviously choosing a great company like Coldwell Banker is almost as important as well!  🙂

Let’s put down the smart phones, email, and faxes, and get face to face again!

Please share your comments below!


Don’t hesitate to contact me if you are interested in learning more about Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and Previews International!  (714) 782-2723

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About Brad Pearson

Regional Vice President, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Orange, San Diego, & Riverside Counties.

Posted on February 12, 2014, in Education/Coaching, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is a great post Brad!

  2. Great article Brad! Let’s go back to old school real estate negotiating class.

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